The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16744   Message #158850
Posted By: ddw
06-Jan-00 - 12:19 AM
Thread Name: Creative group
Subject: RE: Creative group
Don't feel bad, Moonchild — I was delighted to see somebody else who likes to use words as intended, but I'm afraid you and I are being overrun by the whole new world of computerspeak or slang or whatever you want to call it.

I even fall into the trap myself sometimes. I think I used a form of "lurk" a few weeks ago when I posted a "Glad your lurking days are over" not when I recognized the name of a guy I had met just a few days earlier and he told me he'd been reading but not posting for about a year. I liked the guy, so there was certainly no intent to be offensive when I wrote that; it was just the word I'd heard used for people who only read in forums.

But keep up the good fight. People have a hard enough time understanding each other even when the right words are used. I shudder at what might happen if we got too free with definitions. I fight constantly with reporters who think there's no difference between a steamshovel and a backhoe, an armored personnel carrier and a tank (well, they both have guns, don't they?) or an Airbus A300 and a jumbo jet. My answer is, when you can convince me that a cow ran out from under a porch and bit the letter carrier, then I'll believe it's not important to call things by their correct names.

I guess the language has to grow somehow, but there are limits.

Don't, for instance, tell me we just entered the third millennium. I've fought a losing battle in the newsroom for months over that one and — as far as I know — have never once let it slip through in any copy I've handled.

But back to lurker; connotations shift and dictionaries don't actually tell you what a word means. They only tell you what most people take the word to mean.